The Big Sky Expansion

Getting stoked to ride new terrain

The Big Sky Expansion

Reuss, Dave
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The story on Big Sky Resort's recent merger with Moonlight Basin and Spanish Peaks.

We all know something big is happening on Lone Peak—One Mountain, with Liberty and Headwaters for All, cries a triumphant Big Sky—but press releases and marketing mantras aside, what’s the real scoop? Boyne Resorts (owners of Big Sky) and CrossHarbor Capital Partners (owners of the Yellowstone Club) recently joined forces to purchase the previously bankrupt Spanish Peaks and Moonlight Basin properties, creating one massive resort. Pretty sweet, right?


  • 5,750 acres accessed by 30 lifts (officially the biggest resort in America; second to Canada's Whistler-Blackcomb for largest in North America).
  • $99 adult tickets providing access to all of Big Sky Resort’s terrain.
  • Full-mountain interconnect season tickets have decreased by ~$700.
  • Multi-million dollar teamwork could mean huge changes in the future.

Look at everything you can ski now...

It’s presumed that YC members will now have full access to the entirety of Lone Peak, but their butlers will update them as necessary. Need a history lesson on each acquired property? Here’s how the purchases break down.

Spanish Peaks

Advantages: World-class golf course, great real estate.
Disadvantages: Nothing more than blue (intermediate) terrain, relatively far from Big Sky's base area.
Rundown: This 5,700-acre private ski and golf community in Big Sky went under in 2011, citing a troubled real estate market and substantial operating losses. Originally marketed as essentially a cheaper version of the YC, it could never find the clientele base to keep things in the black. It’s been gated for the last two years—Big Sky and YC paid a cool $26 million for the whole thing.

Moonlight Basin

Advantages: Varied terrain with plenty of expert runs, right next door to Big Sky, great real estate.
Disadvantages: Poorly designed base area, lodges in need of renovation, could pull focus from the Big Sky base-area attractions.
Rundown: This 1,900-acre resort in Big Sky filed for Chapter 11 in 2008, and has floated through myriad bankruptcy shenanigans with the Lehman Brothers ever since. There’s no official number on the cost, but think big.

So there you have it. Weather permitting, Big Sky will open the Mountain Village area to skiing on November 28, and the Madison and Moonlight areas on December 7. We’ll see you on the hill. 

Disclaimer: This article is an amalgamation of facts, observations, opinions, and drunken conjecture held by anonymous long-time employees of Big Sky Resort. Any or all of the above content is subject to change without notice. 

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